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Direct2Time Print Ad Specifications Online Digital Ad Specifications Digital Magazine Ad Specifications Time Inc.



With the arrival of a digital era in the graphic arts industry, a lack of agreeable standards hindered the progress of increasingly efficient methods for the creation and distribution of digital advertising. Thus, in collaboration with various industry groups such as Digital Ad Lab, SWOP and the former DDAP Association, Time Inc. advocated for the development and adherence of standards when creating digital advertising intended for print. It was decided upon that the specifications for PDF/X-1a compliant files would be suitable for all areas of the digital advertising process.

As of January 1, 2004, all ad files submitted to Time Inc. titles must be supplied in PDF/X-1a format.

Time Inc. will no longer accept native application files, such as QuarkXPress, PageMaker, etc.


NOTE: Diagrams are not to scale, also not all sizes are available. Please refer to the mechanical specifications below to see which are available.


Effective with the 2018 Issue dates
2018 Trim Sizes

Ad Size Trim Bleed Live / Safety
Page 8” x 10 1/2” 8 1/4” x 10 3/4” 7 1/2” x 10”
Spread 16” x 10 1/2” 16 1/4” x 10 3/4” 15 1/2” x 10”
1/2 Page Vertical 3 7/8” x 10 1/2” 4 1/8” x 10 3/4” 3 3/8” x 10”
1/3 Page Vertical (One Column) 2 5/8” x 10 1/2” 2 7/8” x 10 3/4” 2 1/8” x 10”
2/3 Page Vertical (Two Columns) 5” x 10 1/2” 5 1/4” x 10 3/4” 4 1/2” x 10”
1/2 Page Horizontal 8” x 5 1/8” 8 1/4” x 5 3/8” 7 1/2” x 4 5/8”
1/2 Spread Horizontal 16” x 5 1/8” 16 1/4” x 5 3/8” 15 1/2” x 4 5/8”
1/3 Square 5” x 5 1/8” 5 1/4” x 5 3/8” 4 1/2” x 4 5/8”
Digest 5” x 6 7/8” 5 1/4” x 7 1/8” 4 1/2” x 6 3/8”

Build ads to trim size and extend bleed 1/8” beyond trom on all sides. Supply spreads as spread, all other ads as single pages.

*Allow 1/4” safety on both sides of gutter for spreads.

Please note when designing an ad with the expectation of an equal border on all sides, there is a 1/16” allowable tolerance in the trimming of our magazines. We require using a border with a minimum width of 3/8”.

Contact Email
Southern Living Ad Produciton



Please adhere to the guidelines below when preparing files. Ensure that only one ad is included per PDF/X-1a file.

Images Fonts Dimensions
Marks & Positioning Safety
Note: Special consideration MUST be taken if you are designing an ad with a varnish or Scented area. Please CLICK HERE to Download a Spec. PDF for how to create the Ad.

Creating PDF/X-1a File


Files must be submitted via the Time Inc. Ad Portal. Please click on the Ad Portal Guide link above to access step-by-step instructions on how to submit a file.


Southernl Living is presently using Virtual Proofing at its printing plants and is no longer accepting hard proofs from advertisers. Please click on the Virtual Proofing Guide link above to access information on submitting a Virtual Proof compliant file.


SOUTHERN LIVING magazine is perfect-bound.